Athena sprung from the head of Zeus fully-formed. That’s rad. We wish we could say games emerged from our skulls in the same way, but it’s a much more complex, lengthy process. We thought it would be cool to share the inspiration behind our games, to shed some light on the initial ideas that grew into the fully-formed Party Pack 6 that we are thrilled to bring to Xbox One.
The first thing we agreed upon this year was that we wanted to do a reboot of one of our most-loved games, Trivia Murder Party. And like any self-respecting sequel, it needed to be bigger, better, and even spookier. So we set Trivia Murder Party 2 in a haunted murder hotel. Our murderous host is back and this time he’s saddled with the obligation of running his family business and hosting a trivia murder game. (Can men have it all?!) In addition to the new setting, we packed the game with new minigames and mechanics, including bonus, secret scenes that trigger after certain “gifts” come into play. Because we were building on an existing base, we were able to add exciting new layers that transform the original into an even more murderous labyrinth.
In Dictionarium, we wanted to create a word game where you didn’t need a big vocabulary… or really any vocabulary at all. In each game, we give you a gibberish word and you build a whole dictionary entry around it. By the end of the game, you’ll have a winning definition, a synonym, and an example of it being used in a sentence. When designing this game, we made sure to leave all the power in the hands of (gulp) the players. You can get as silly or serious as you want; there are no right answers. We leaned into the idea that a thousand groups could look at the word “qwop” and come up with a thousand different meanings.
Push the Button actually incubated in the Jackbox offices for years before making its debut in Party Pack 6. We knew we wanted to make a hidden identity game and we kicked around multiple iterations before finally pushing the button on Push the Button. In this game, there are aliens hiding in your midst and you have to eject them from the ship before the timer runs out. Personal questions, moral quandaries, writing tasks and drawing games help you slowly sniff out the aliens. We view it as a spiritual successor to Fakin’ It. But in this version, we raised the stakes all the way into space! When we play this game in our office, people yell things like “I actually AM scared of horses, so I’m NOT an alien!” and that’s how we know it’s working.
You know that lively conversation where you and your friends go around sorting each other into wizard boarding school houses? That’s the inspiration behind Role Models. Our dev team wanted to capture the spirit of those lively discussions, but add a Jackbox-twist to them. In Role Models, you sort your friends into oddly specific archetypes, like which kind of ankle tattoo would each of you be? Choose wisely because you get points when you’re in agreement with the group. In the event of a tie, absurd minigames help settle the record. Editorially, we were inspired to explore areas other than pop culture. For example, “Which of your friends would scream HELP ME MOMMY while skydiving?” That is a real question, so start thinking about it now.
For Joke Boat, our inspiration couldn’t have been more simple: make ‘em laugh, baby! It was important for us, when designing this game, to set the player up for success. Since crafting a one-liner from scratch feels daunting, we have players create them in bite-sized steps. After you choose a classic joke structure and topic, you write the punch line. It’s like Build-A-Bear, except appropriate for all ages. There are even funny catchphrases to help buoy you. You can choose to read your joke out loud, or bury your head in your hands while the game presents it for you. But fret not—we intentionally made the stakes very low by placing you on a terrible cruise ship.
So there you have it. That is what inspired us to make The Jackbox Party Pack 6. We hope you have as much fun playing these games as we did making them! Let us know what you think by sharing your thoughts on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Now that you’ve peeked into our brains, we kindly ask you to leave. There are just some thoughts we don’t want you to see.